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Thursday, June 4, 2009

How To Optimize Your Touchpad (Update)


Update:
You can now enable advance gestures on older touchpad.
I will just post the link as I am too lazy to type 
As of now almost all Synaptics Touchpad support multitouch (even legacy ones) thanks to Synaptics who decided to include multi touch support even for legacy Touchpads.
You need to update the drivers to the latest version here then use this guide to optimize the settings


The information below is outdated refer to the above.





New features : Disable touchpad when USB Mouse is attached.

I think some of you have seen the synaptic icon on your taskbar but don't really care what it does.
In this blog I will show you how to properly configure it so that it will perform even better for you

Firstly, Synaptic Touchpad software is consistently updated
You won't get the latest version from Official Synaptic Website
However you can get it at
laptopvideo2go
Let me clarify Synaptic Touchpad Software is universal there is no specific version to install
As long as you have a touchpad on your laptop the latest version will always be compatible to your laptop if you haven't install it, install it now.



  • Firstly Right Click on the Synaptic icon in the taskbar
  • Select Pointing Device Properties
  • Select Pointer Options Tab
  • Set the Pointer Speed bar as shown below



The above picture is just a gauge
The optimal setting should be the when you drag your finger from the top of the touchpad to the bottom the cursor should traverse from the top to the bottom
in one single motion


Next Check that Tapping is enabled as shown below
When tapping is enabled when you touch the touchpad
twice quickly at the same spot is acts like a double left click
When you touch once it acts as a
single left click




After you do this it
effectively replaces your left mouse button




Next we shall set the most comfortable setting for the touchpad





Set both bar to
as low as possible because

  • I don't think people rest their whole palm on the touchpad while using it
  • It makes your touchpad more responsive and you no longer have to apply any pressure to it. You just need to rest the weight of your finger on it
  • Latest version of Synaptics Software will not detect invisible movements and move your cursor randomly


Next we shall explore additional features

Enable Virtual Scrolling as shown below




It will allow you to scroll up and down, left and right by dragging your fingers in the regions shown below



Adjust the size of the scroll region




Next we shall find a
Alternative Right Click Button for convenience
Do the following










This will create a "new" right click button as shown below
To Right Click simply tap the region once




Adjust the size of your "Right Mouse Button"

The new configuration will need some getting use to but you will no longer need to apply pressure to the touch pad for normal usage
If you get use to this you will not need to use the right mouse button hence less likely of spoiling it

If you require finer control you can always fallback on the buttons
In conclusion don't be lazy, the default setting on Synaptic Touchpad sucks to get comfortable settings for use, experiment and find the setting you are most comfortable with.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you :)

Anonymous said...

I am searching desperately for help regarding the Synaptics Touchpad on my Acer Aspire 9300 notebook (originally) running XP Home SP-2 & SP-3. The problem started several months ago after I added a wireless mouse for occasional use when I felt it was easier than the touchpad. The mouse and touchpad co-existed perfectly for a few weeks - maybe longer. However, eventually the touchpad began to lose the "enhanced" features such as the vertical scrolling. Also, the left and right buttons stopped working correctly. A left click on the desktop acted like a right click, bringing up the small right-click menu. The right button was virtually inactive - or unresponsive no matter how many clicks or how hard it was pressed. If I plugged in the wireless mouse, it seemed to work fine, but the touchpad continued to be erratic at best.

I have tried many fixes with no permanent results. I have uninstalled/reinstalled the Synaptics driver, with an occasional "temporary" revival of the touchpad's enhanced features. They would be lost again at the next reboot. I have since upgraded to Vista SP-1 with absolutely no improvement in touchpad operation.

Any help in diagnosing and fixing this headache will be highly appreciated!!

I will return to this site for any response...

Thanks,
Lee

Weinter said...

Could it be an issue with the wireless mouse driver?
You can try updating it by seacrhing using google for the updated version instead of using the original device driver.
Have you tried installing without the wireless mouse? Is the touchpad working?
Or you can try the latest driver I listed here and check disable touchpad when an external mouse is plugged in.
Maybe the device conflict will not occur

Anonymous said...

Weinter,

Thanks for your quick reply! I have tried the disable touchpad when external mouse attached, but didn't help either. I have tried 3 different wireless mice, but all act the same way. The first one was a Targus that used the built-in Windows XP driver which I could not find any driver upgrade. I recently tried a Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000 which came with MS Intelipoint software. That did not help either.

I believe the problem is related to Acer's Launch Manager program that controls the keyboard and/or touchpad, and the i8042prt.sys driver with control over both the keyboard and touchpad. I've Googled those and found several other comments with similar problems, but so far no real fix. I tried disabling the Launch Manager Service, with same issue. I even downloaded the new Launch Manager program update from the Acer Support website and intalled it - no help.

Last night I pressed the 4 Launchpad buttons at the top of the keyboard, next to the power button, and all worked according to default - I have never made any changes to those, and have actually ignored them till now, but just read that Launch Manager is directly tied to them. After I tried all four to see what they do, suddenly all touchpad functions including the enhanced features were working! Alas... when I started the computer today, the touchpad was back to the same problem - buttons don't work right and scrolling doesn't work at all. Pressing the 4 Launchpad buttons today did nothing to help.

I feel I am close to identifying what is causing the issue, but it is just out of sight!

Thanks again for your help!

Lee

Anonymous said...

Weinter,

Sorry about the double post - I didn't think it went through, so I re-posted in error.

A quick update on my Touchpad/Keyboard issue...

I found a rather long article on Microsoft Support - #102989 which suggests many registry entries for the i8042prt.sys device driver. I experimented with a few and found one that *might* have helped. It is in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters DWORD ResendIterations, default value is 3, but recommended increasing this value "if the driver fails to initialize or work corretly". So I tried setting it at 5, with no change in the problem, so I tried 7 and have rebooted the system twice, and all Touchpad features are working normally... so far!


BTW, I misstated my OS in my first post - this Aspire 9300 came with XP-Media Center, and I upgraded to Vista Home Premium SP-1 about 2 weeks ago. So far I like Vista much better than I had expected, considering all the negatives on Vista being circulated.

I will let you know if the Touchpad functionality continues "healthy".

Lee

Weinter said...

Thanks for the tip.
I think people who uses Wireless Notebook Mouse will find it useful.
Do you suppose by changing the values for the polling iterations the keyboard responsiveness will improve?
You can also tweak Vista for performance improvement.

Anonymous said...

Weinter,

Well... that registry adjustment didn't last very long. The next day it reverted to being bad again. But - I kept searching and found a newer driver on the Synaptics website than on the Acer site, so I installed it AND uninstalled Launch Manager, and so far the touchpad is working perfectly and coexisting with the USB wireless mouse. I won't hold my breath just yet, but it seems like that was the issue. I even returned the ResendIterations setting to the default of 3. I'll update if anything changes.

Lee

Weinter said...

Actually you should try the driver from laptopvideo2go.
It is the latest version ever released.
Synaptics Driver are pretty standard so it should work with no issues.

Dmaster said...

Too bad that this last version don't have a 64 bits version. I have to change de Registry to enable the feature to disable touchpad when using a usb mouse.

Lee said...

Weinter,

Sorry it has taken me so long to update what I have found regarding the Aspire/Synaptics Touchpad issue. After (too many) hours of experimenting with drivers and other software settings, I now believe this is a hardware problem that relates to the temperature of the computer. Whenever this Aspire starts up cold, the touchpad does not work correctly... the right button is totally dead, and the left button appears to be in "drag-mode", and the edge-scroll feature is also dead.

If the computer is left "on" for several hours - about 4 or 5 - the touchpad begins to work exactly as it is supposed to with all features active. I purchased a service manual online for the Aspire 9300 and started to dissasemble the machine to get to the touchpad/motherboard connections, but was interupted and had to reassemble it. I will try again when I have more time and see if the touchpad's ribbon cable connector is inserted correctly. I will also look for any other suspicious loose connections that could potentially improve when warmed up. Another theory is the motherboard may have a hairline flaw in a circuit that closes when warmed up. That may be nearly impossible to detect with the naked eye. If I don't find and fix the flaw, I will have to use this machine as a desktop, using a USB wireless mouse, and purchase another notebook computer for portable use.

Lee